Born in 1590, William Bradford was one of the founders of Plymouth colony in 1620 and a signer of the Mayflower Compact. He served as the colony's governor for more than thirty years, and wrote "Of Plymouth Plantation," one of the first histories of European settlement in the New World, before his death in 1657.
Born of substantial yeomen in Yorkshire, England, Bradford expressed his nonconformist religious sensibilities in his early teens and joined the famed Separatist church in Scrooby at the age of seventeen. In 1609 he immigrated with the congregation, led by John Robinson, to the Netherlands. For the next eleven years he and his fellow religious dissenters lived in Leyden until their fear of assimilation into Dutch culture prompted… Go to person page >